When Rough Waters Come
Mark 4:35 As evening came, Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with His head on a cushion. The disciples woke Him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” 39 When Jesus woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then He asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
I remember learning about this story when I was very young. The flannel board in my Sunday school class was adorned with huge waves, a little boat, and very scared looking men! I also remember how Jesus was portrayed. He was stretched out with a pillow underneath His head, asleep. The lesson of how we should have complete faith and trust in Jesus came to life for me then and is still a great example for me today!
I LOVE verse 35. It may seem insignificant and it’s likely you don’t even remember what it says…BUT it is one of the most important parts of this entire story! Read it again. Jesus TOLD His disciples, at the very beginning, that they WOULD cross. He didn’t say let’s try and get to the other side, He said, ”let’s cross to the other side of the lake”. Then He took a pillow and went to sleep. Think about this…the disciples were actually in the presence of Jesus and He told them they would cross to the other side of the lake…so why on earth were these guys so scared? Why didn’t they have carefree hearts and enjoy the boat ride? Or why weren’t they stretched out with Jesus resting comfortably? I think the answer to those questions is exactly why Jesus stirred the storm up! He needed to have an encounter with His disciples. He needed to show them their lack of faith and He wanted to show them just Who He was! Could this be the reason for the storms in our lives?
Every time I read this scripture I wonder how the disciples could be so terrified! I mean, they had Jesus in the boat with them!!! That seems crazy to me! BUT in reality, I do the exact same thing! Just like the disciples, I allow my circumstances and fear to distract me from the truth and promises of God! So, when the rough waters come, I only see the threat and forget Who is in the boat with me! I forget that He promised He would never leave me (Hebrews 13:5), I forget that He promises to bring peace in the midst of trials (John 16:33) and I forget verse 35!
We need to SEE Jesus in this story. Knowing that a storm was coming, He modeled being completely at rest for His disciples! He is our example of how to embrace the storms in our life but more often we reflect the behavior of the disciples!
I pray we all remember verse 35 when we are facing our next storm. When the dark skies are approaching, the waves begin to fill our boats and the winds begin to rise, let’s grab our pillows and sleep! JESUS IS IN THE BOAT so rest…we will not sink…we will make it to the other side…He said so!
Read also: Sleeping through the storm